October is Fair Trade Month – holla!

Forgive my almost weeklong absence. I’ve been a little under the weather, had guests visiting, and then I decided to quit coffee cold turkey and been having some headaches (if you would call feeling like your head is in a medieval torture device a “headache”). But I couldn’t let this first day of October pass without a quick shout out for the ninth annual FAIR TRADE MONTH! Who knew?? My guess is that you didn’t. And if you did, go ahead and pat yourself on the back!

Fair Trade Month aims to raise awareness of the reasons why fair trade is important, and to promote buying and using socially and commercially sustainable, fair trade products in place of commodities which may harm the environment, the economy, communities and disadvantaged individuals.

That key phrase is “IN PLACE OF …” So, think about your shopping habits and the choices you’re making. I had someone I respect and admire, highly I might add, tell me she went shopping for underwear a couple of weeks ago and left empty handed because she couldn’t get my posts out of her mind. I LOVE IT! That’s what I’m here for… to plant those seeds and encourage you that “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” (Anna Lappe)

Before this week, I would drink at least one cup of coffee per day. And since I’m missing it in some major kind of way today… I’ll let you know about Green Mountain Coffee. They are the largest purchaser of fair-trade coffee in the world. Green Mountain Coffee and acclaimed musicians Grace Potter and Michael Franti are celebrating Fair Trade Month in a big way with “Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Pass It On” – an awareness campaign that will celebrate the good vibes of fair trade through free concerts and an opportunity to win a trip to Costa Rica, one of many locations where Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ coffee is grown. “‘Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Pass It On’ is about using the power of music to share the message of fair trade,” said T.J. Whalen, vice president of marketing and sales, GMCR’s Specialty Coffee business unit. “It’s a simple choice that makes a big difference in coffee communities around the world, and we want to inspire people to experience the quality of fair trade coffee, feel good about helping others and pass it on.” And through the end of the month, they’ll have $2 off everything (bagged, k-cups, etc) http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/shop/bagged-coffee-category?facets=Brand%3AGreen%20Mountain%20Coffee®%7C%7CQualities%3AFair%20Trade&TitleTag=Bagged%20Coffee#back

The best part of waking up, is fair trade in your cup.

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(Also? You can get this adorable fair trade cozy to go with a mug and coffee as the perfect gift for Christmas or a hostess gift. http://brandimendenhall.noondaycollection.com/home-and-gift/it-s-cozy#.UGpGckKWElI $24)

Having trouble finding Fair Trade products where you shop? Sometimes all you have to do is ask!  Requesting more Fair Trade products is as easy as filling out a comment card or speaking directly with the manager. Explain that you want to make every purchase matter by buying Fair Trade.  It helps to name specific products or product categories and to direct the manager to the Fair Trade USA website www.FairTradeUSA.org (which is the certifying agency) to learn more.

You can also ask for Fair Trade to be served at your school or office.  Encouraging a large organization to go Fair Trade is a very effective way to increase the impact for farmers and workers in more than 58 countries.

 

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